Branding. It’s a loaded term tossed around in the marketing world, but carries with it some huge potential.
For small business owners, branding might seem like a waste of time, another box to check on the business building to-do list.
However, the opportunity presented by building a true blue, full-fledged, homerun of a brand is what separates the store brands from the Coca-Colas of business. Your business’ reputation is what really makes or breaks sales, and if your brand looks like it cost $10 to make in ClipArt, than that’s how you can expect people to perceive it.
Putting your brand to work is one of the quickest ways to get more bang for your buck when it comes to investing in your business. You can go out and buy the latest technology for the services you offer or launch a newly developed product. But getting the word out about these new developments is sure to be an uphill battle. You’re going to have to fight every day for new customers to not only know your name but also choose to trust your business. And with all the added noise of the digital age, and competition out there, you might be out of business before that ever happens.
Turning the tables on the competition and creating a strong, united brand—communicated through every touch point of your marketing—will turn you from nameless nobody to reputable mainstay. The biggest advantage lies in the differentiation. Most small businesses have very poor, unmemorable branding, making it easy for the first smart business to instantly take charge of a highly contested market.
Almost every time a client flips the switch and rebrands on a large scale, their no name service all of the sudden becomes the fresh new kid on the block. People see the vehicles, recognize the flyers, visit the website, and ultimately become a buyer.
Thus begins the ripple effect, which leads to some pretty astounding metrics. Within a year’s time, we’ve seen some truly astounding business landmarks. Among the consumer-base, a new staple in the community is born. Internally, the company gets a more official and affirming identity. The change is validating, empowering, and overwhelmingly positive—and it all comes back to an initial upfront investment.
Your perception garners you superior favorability amongst loyal advocates and first-timers alike, so much so that well-branded businesses are enabled to adjust their prices, make more revenue, and drive their growth even further. It triggers a serious snowball effect that allows start-ups to become powerhouses and mom-and-pop shops to become multi-location companies. These businesses seem equipped to withstand the test of time, and because of that, consumers will see fit to treat them that way.
Dan Antonelli is the CEO and creative director of New Jersey advertising agency Graphic D-Signs, Inc., The Small Business Advertising Agency®, and author of Building a Big Small Business Brand. For more information, visit www.graphicd-signs.com.